Top 10 Last Ditch Stunts To Save Guiding Light

The Ides of April are fast approaching for Guiding Light and although, to be quite honest (Sorry, I don’t know any other way), I don’t see how Ellen and Co. will be able to pull it out this time, however I figured I would take one last stab at trying to be proactive and throw out a few oh-so humble suggestions on how to save the soap:

10.) Re-hire Pamela K. Long – Fresh from her stint head writing NBC’s short-lived Another World spinoff Texas, Pam Long joined Guiding Light as head writer in 1983 and helped the soap best even ratings juggernaut General Hospital for a time with her youthful stories of the Four Musketeers (Phillip, Mindy, Beth and Rick), as well as the splashy, torrid love affair of one Joshua "Bud" Lewis and Reva Shayne. I doubt if Long were back at the helm this show would need a population of head writers that rivals my hometown back in Texas.

9.) Bring back Krista Tesreau as Melinda Sue "Mindy’ Lewis – Newer GL fans who have enjoyed Billy’s (Jordan Clarke) fatherly relationship with Lizzie (Marcy Rylan), would love to see how the Oklahoma oil man related to his own little princess Mindy Sue. While the role of Mindy has been oft-recast, it was Krista Tesreau‘s version who along with Grant Aleksander (Phillip), Michael O’Leary (Rick) and Judi Evans (ex-Beth)  comprised GL’s original iconic Four Musketeers, and with Phillip on his way home to Springfield, Rick and Beth are gonna need all the help they can get in dealing with their old frenemy, especially if he didn’t manage to find his marbles while he was away!

43 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Luke Kerr
    Luke Kerr

    Poor Otalia….GL deny’s they will/could happen and then they “happen” but it isn’t enough to get them on the list. lol. I know we’ve discussed it some but what role do you see Otalia playing in the “last ditch” attempt to save the show, if any?

  2. Profile photo of SoapSnob

    All very good suggestions, Jamey. I especially like number 5. I, too, think that Beth Chamberlain is a beautiful and talented actress. But she is not Beth Raines as embodied by Judi Evans – who will ALWAYS be Beth to me. To me, Beth Chamberlain has lacked the chemistry required to make Beth believable in her interactions with Phillip or Rick. (She has struck gold with Coop, so, of course, he is leaving.) Combine Phillip, Rick, Judi Evan’s Beth and, hopefully, Krista Tesreau’s Mindy (or an appropriate recast like Jensen Buchanan or Sandra Ferguson) and Guiding Light could have some central characters that we can actually care about.

    My suggestion for a talented headwriter who understands the genre: Kay Alden. In the last year, Kay has proven that she likes to take risks on a show – The Bold & the Beautiful – that has (had) its own identity and formula and with whom her bag of tricks was not a good fit. Take a chance. Kay and P&G and TeleNext and the viewers would have nothing to lose.

    In the end, I do hope that all avenues are exhausted by all involved parties before Guiding Light is allowed to go into that sweet night.

  3. Profile photo of RoseVioletDaisy

    NO MORE MOB!!! I cannot say that loud and often enough. The loss of Manny was not the beginning of the end, their inception was. The arrival of the Santoses, followed quickly by the San Cristohell nightmare, are what drove GL off the rails in the first place. It’s bad enough that they’re revisiting SC with yet another boring, contrived, and pointless Edmund return but to throw Manny(especially the insipid St. Alban version) on top of it could very well squander what little goodwill GL has finally gained from some longtime fans by getting Grant Aleksander back and tightening their storytelling up in preparation for his arrival.

    Watros would never come back and that’s fine by me. Annie was great until the writers destroyed her in order to make Reva look like some UberHeroine. Getting Tesrau’s Mindy back would be awesome though.

    I’m totally on-board with reuniting Josh & Reva, Cyrus & Marina, Bill & Lizzie, and putting Dinah in a triangle with Mallet and Shayne. All of these things need to happen yesterday, as does Jeffrey’s gruesome death in a woodchipper.

    A new studio and the old way of filming simply isn’t gonna happen and I accept that.

    What would do GL a world of good would be for OLTL to let Jerry VerDorn go since Clint isn’t being used and he was never right for that role in the first place anyway and Ross Marler could finally come home. Ross Marler is the patriarch that Springfield needs now more than ever.

    Beth Chamberlin’s been Beth for twenty years now, there’s not point in changing that now.

  4. Profile photo of season1217

    While some may think Jamey’s suggestions are unnecessary there’s no denying that some, if not all, could help the show make it past April. There may not be a point of changing Beth but think of all the past fans who would come back to the show on the news that the original actors of a very popular quad were back on the show. And while some may not be a fan of Manny or Cyrina or Jammy I’m sure the many that were would out weigh the non fans. This post is called Top 10 Last Ditch STUNTS. Everybody may not love it but if it brings back the people who did then what’s the problem?


    Pushing Daisies – You will always be in my heart!

  5. Profile photo of elvara

    A few things: The filming hurt the show. Bring it back to what it was. Bringing back Phillip and Edmund are a good move. The Readons and Bauers would also be good. Bring back an alive Tammy and reunite her with Jonathan. Maybe Alan-Micheal too. Get rid of Marina.

  6. Profile photo of troymcclure

    I like most of your suggestions although I feel bad for poor Beth Chamberlain, the only Beth I have ever known. The old studios will never come back, I would not mind a recast Michelle Bauer returning alone, the only person I could buy coming between Bill and Lizzie.
    Josh and Reva needs to reunite ASAP.

    I would love it if mindy came back, I read they want to bring back roxie, revas sister, I don’t get it.

    Don’t want to offend anyone because I was not watching during Cyrina but were they really such a popular couple ? On the boards I read a lot about other couples that should be reunited but not so much Cyrina.
    It seems the only reason some people want them together is to break up Mallet and Marina (which I am all for) but not because cyrina belong together.

    i hope I managed to explain myself, I know that Cyrina has their fans among DC so maybe they can explain to me.

    BTW many things are wrong on GL but can we at least agree that they probably has the best cast on daytime ?

  7. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    The Santos mob storyline and Annie/Josh/Reva took the show over the 3.0. Are you seriously gonna sit there and tell me you’d rather see what is on your screen now than the mob? LMAO Why oh why in daytime is the mob the only evil that seems to be unforgivable? Cousins sleep with cousins. Grandmothers wield knives at the necks of their grandson’s lovers, and all of that is okay, even cherished, but woe be a mob storyline! ;-)

  8. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Luke, P&G won’t tell the one gay story they’ve already got going. I don’t have the stomach to watch them tip toe around a second one. Otalia is fun, and I definitely hope they go there, but I ain’t holding my breath.

  9. Profile photo of zurge

    I agree with many of these comments. I also wish that GL would up the “Bauer Power”, as well, to provide a better sense of history to the show. However, I think that is even “too little, too late”. As much as Pam Long helped to revive the show, she also practically killed off or sent off the whole Bauer clan in the course of a year. I would love to see them cast Robin Mattson (impossible, I know) as Hope Bauer Spaulding, and bring the character back to Springfield to give Ron Raines a good sparring partner. This was the woman who managed to change Alan from a complete sleaze to a devoted husband. However, being around Alan made Hope become an alcoholic. This would hopefully also provide Alan-Michael an excuse to come back, as well (as per elvara’s comment above).

  10. Profile photo of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    Damn boy u have me praying for Melinda Sue Lewis to be back! *LOL* I so loved her on GL.. The original fab four on that show were my FAV! With the economy being in the tank, GL should be able to get a studio for a steal and NYC has made some great initiatives for studio houses to film there. P&G needs to stop chinchin on that doe!

  11. Profile photo of gush900

    Jamey i started watching gl when that crazy brent lawrence raped lucy cooper and was masqurading as crossdressing marian crane.From what i hear of pam long she was like a james e reilly for days of our lives.She loved the chracthers and wrote beautifully.Last year when Beth and ricky left thats was the beginning of the end.Hey maybe Marian crane will escape and be the springfield stalker

  12. Profile photo of season1217

    I think the issues that people have with the mob invading their soaps is all GH’s doing. Honestly, I’d rather watching kissing cousins than hear Sonny say the word betrayal or throw Wedgewood across rooms. LOL!


    Pushing Daisies – You will always be in my heart!

  13. Profile photo of Soap_Stud

    I’d love for Phillip to wake up from a coma and the entire Ellen Wheeler years were a dream he was having…they’d be back at a studio, old favorites would be back, and newer characters wouldn’t be annoying us anymore!

    Always soaptacular-


  14. Profile photo of east.west

    Yes and more to your suggestions Jay.
    Any of these ideas will get GL out of the killzone and build upon the audience they have right now.
    As much as I love the smokin hot and amazing Beth Chamberlin getting Judi back would get ppl’s attention, but I wouldn’t make that move.
    And like you said on a podcast they need a serial killer storyline (the perfect way to get rid of some not needed/run their course characters).
    And if Pam Long can come in there and become the shows sole HW and get an EP (Wendy Riche anyone) in there that can get it back (sorry Ellen but you need to go) along w/your other suggestions we have a show worth staying on the air.

  15. Profile photo of needab11


    I agree 100%!!
    I’m sure any of these story lines would get those that have turned out the light to turn it back on.

    My only other suggestions would be to please spend a little money, go back to the studio, and get out of that dump of a town, Peapack!
    Then please, please, build some new sets, I can almost live with the shaking cameraman, but that stupid spiral staircase in the Spaulding Mansion, has got to go. Seriously where does it lead to, the lighthouse?

  16. Profile photo of Revafan001

    Jamie i have to agree with everything. If you would go back to June/July when we though Jeva round 44,333,222 the ratings went up too a 1.7. With the summer Jeva things rating high I beilve with combinded with GA and DAM GL would be saved..\

    GL/OLTL/ATWT/Y&R Fan!!!!!!!!!

  17. Profile photo of GossipGirl

    All great suggestions Jamey! Many of these things should have been done a long time ago and if they had, GL probably wouldn’t be terminal.

    I was extremely upset when I learned that Danny and Michelle were leaving Springfield. I never understood why they were let go because I know that I wasn’t the only one who was a fan of this coupling. GH has made the word “mob” a dirty word now, but the Santos’s were a nice change from the Bauers, Lewis’s, etc. The mob wasn’t overdone on GL and Carmen Santos was one of my favorite characters on that show!

    I was always indifferent to Cyrina. I like Cyrus, but I’ve never been able to warm up to Marina. Same goes with Mallet. Mallet and Marina could ride off in the sunset and I would be perfectly happy with that.

    TPTB know that GL is in grave danger and they know they have a popular couple in Bill and Lizzie, so what do they do…keep them apart with stupid obstacles for as long as possible. A big, grand wedding for these two would be great. Same goes for Reva and Josh!

    Like you said Jamey, the best way to save GL is to film on an actual set! I know they don’t have alot of money, but I’m sure they could do better than shooting in the woods of Peapack, NJ. The numbers started to go down fast when this new format took over and that is not a coincidence!

    I’ve let myself face the reality that the first soap I ever watched will be ending soon, but it just saddens me to think that nothing was done to stop this train wreck from happening.

  18. Profile photo of DramaFanatic

    I’d rather have Nancy Curlee back as Head Writer than Pam Long. Curlee made GL an ensemble again, with gripping, history-laced, and multi-generational stoylines again in the early 90’s. Long essentially turned GL into the Reva Shayne show, that character basically was the show for that era. Curlee’s GL also felt a lot closer to Irna Phillips’ original vision than Long’s.

    I’ve always thought Vanessa’s biggest rival was her brother’s wife – the one and only Noal Reardon Chamberlin! Vanessa vs. Nola > Vanessa vs. Reva.

  19. Profile photo of Melodie

    HELL MOTHER FREAKIN YES TO NUMBER 6!!!! I’ve been screaming for a Cyrus and Marina reunion since they broke up. I couldn’t agree more with one word you said about them Jamey!
    Troy- I think that Cyrus and Marina were a popular couple. They had some AWESOME chemistry if their day and it was just a breath of fresh air to watch them fall in love. They don’t get talked about as much as they should because of how they ended with Cyrus cheating on Marina with her Aunt Harley! It’s was big mess. But if you’d like I’ll be happy explain why this couple was so AWESOME to you. Ok Mel’s Fan Girl Cyrina moment is over! Loved the list Jamey! I agree with alot of them, especially Mindy…which reminds me we should chat sometime!

  20. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Oh I loved ‘Nessa v. Nola too, at least the brief time I saw them spar during Lisa Brown’s second stint in the 90’s, but I was thinking about inherent conflict. Reva’s son is involved with Vanessa’s daughter, and they have are all onscreen. I don’t think bringing back Lisa Brown would effect ratings.

  21. Profile photo of dkellergrl2001

    Wow, Jamey. I haven’t even watched an entire episode of GL, since my Grandma died (and that happened in 1986) and you’ve intrigued me with your 10 stunt storyline ideas, in the hopes of keeping this show on the air past April.

    I just don’t get why TPTB don’t have these thoughts and actually have the balls to go with some of them.

    These characters and storyines are APART of the show’s history, the makeup and fabric of over 70 years of fictional storytelling.


  22. Profile photo of

    You know. If they can’t afford to tape at CBS’s studio on 57th street. SilverCup Studios is a borough away in Queens and you don’t have to travel and hour and change to get to Peapack, NJ.

    It’s got to be cheaper than what their doing now. As for ATWT. Ain’t nobody want that space in Brooklyn where they tape for nothing. They should be grateful it’s getting some use.

    Great post Jamey. I totally agree with most of it. But they’re not going to do anything. They want this show to end. Or else they would have changed anything by now.

  23. Profile photo of tanyia2

    It wasn’t GH and their obsession with the mob that made me hate Manny on GL. It was the same tired storyline that keeps getting played out year after year on GL that made me hate them. Carmen and Vinnie Salerno going after Michelle and Danny for the 98,769,887,840 time gets tiresome.

  24. Profile photo of petitejolie

    If only they would write Olivia and Natalia as well as VL does for Christian and Olli (who came back on today’s episode), GL could have a very hot functioning gay relationship.

  25. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001

    Who ever created the idea of bringing back Cynthia Watros is amazing! THat is THE BEST ITEM ON THE LIST. NO ONE, not even Sheila Carter beats Annie Dutton!

    Those scenes on the plane before it crashed with Reva and Annie were PRICELESS and I would do anything to see her again torture the folks of GL!!!!!

  26. Profile photo of THEBEST

    Dammit, Jamey! I hate you. This would be so great if a P&G and/or CBS Exec was reading this. If they could do at least half of this, we could make it. I’m praying for a miracle. We have a black President, so anything is possible…

    ***///Pine Valley will be whistling Dixie soon…\\\***

  27. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Jamey, the mob on GL was great because they balance out the Santos with other characters unlike GH where it is all mob all the time and they have a strong woman as a mob boss and GH had a strong woman boss but got rid of her. I like your suggestions to saving GL and hope that tiic read it and do whatever they can to save it because if GL goes down, we don’t know how the rest of the industry going to survive.


  28. Profile photo of dutchess

    GL should be cut to a half-hour format and the focus should be on the show’s greatest strengths: The Lewis’s and the Spauldings. Bringing back Krista Tesreau as Mindy is a great idea and Tom Pelphrey is a must-have. A nasty feud between Jonthan and Shayne with Reva caught in the middle would keep me glued. And Phillip should be written as a romantic hero – not as a villain…that’s what Alan is there for.

  29. Profile photo of soapoperafan

    I was just thinking that! Judi is not doing anything at the moment. I love Beth Chamberlain too but having Jdudi back would be great! And I love the Bill n Lizzie big splashy wedding idea! If you’re going to go out then go out big! Remember Another World when the whole cast sang the theme song? That’s how it should. And bring back Ed Bauer!

  30. Profile photo of tnjane

    You call this the top 10 last ditch efforts to save Guiding Light but you didn’t include two of the most important:
    Grant Aleksander returning as Phillip Spaulding AND
    the Otalia love story of Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia.
    These two MAY save it. Hope so.

  31. Profile photo of witch0000

    I like reuniting the 4 muskateers, but Otalia has to be in there–it’s nice to go back in time, but Lizzy and Bill, Dinah and Shayne, Olivia, Emma and Natalia–they are the future of the show….

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a miracle.

  32. Profile photo of samxart

    I’m sorry but this list reeks of “been there done that”. What about creating something new and different and exciting. I think that is what the show is doing right now and I love it. The genre is dying by sticking to the old, tired ways. GL has leaped forward and is fresh and raw and intimate, showing the day to day living of these characters in a way that pulls me into their lives and loves and makes me feel everything they are feeling.

    The Otalia storyline alone is making GL must see TV for me. But I am also enjoying the Dinah/Shayne/Edmund/Josh adventure, as well as the continuing saga of Phillip vs Alan. And now with a SORASed James, even Daisy finally has some potential. And Mallet and Marina (not my favorite characters) have the Henry intrigue on the horizon to put a little angst in their world.

    No it’s not big family feuds and royal intrigues. It’s real life… presented in a way that makes me care. I’ve been watching GL on and off for over 30 years, and have very fond memories of characters and storylines, many of which you refer to in your list. But there were a few you mentioned that were the reason I stopped watching the show on a regular basis. Regardless, that was then. This is now. And GL is paving the way for something new. If it fails, then I feel sorry for the remaining soaps, for unless they start to reinvent themselves, the genre is in serious danger of dying.

    I am sorry EW wasn’t given more time. Given only one year to go through a huge amount of growing pains with the new system was not fare. The show has never looked and felt better than it does now, since the new model was put in place. I pray that some other network will see GL’s current potential and sign on to give it a new home.

  33. Profile photo of tanyia2

    I have to disagree with you on two things: Bringing back Manny and putting Marina in Shayne’s orbit.

    As much as I hate to give kudos to Wheeler and Kreizman I have to applaud them for getting rid of that albatross known as Manny. The only story that they had was Carmen and the mob and that played out years ago.

    A recast Michelle coming back with Ed and no Danny I could live with.

    Marina is a perpetual child so I do not see her with any man on the show. Marina should leave town with Cyrus and don’t look back.

  34. Profile photo of soapoperafan

    I love the idea of bringing back the Reva/Vanessa feud. Maybe Wheeler should take a look at OLTL and Vikki and Dorian. I’ve wondered why we haven’t seen more of Vanessa since Shayne n Dinah are getting so close. And I also love the idea of having Pam Long back. I loved the show when she wrote it.

  35. Profile photo of Cornfed

    Dinah and Shayne have great chemistry, but the day i watched, their dialogue was so dopey and pointless, i was as bored as they were. It was the day they flew the kite. It was just retarded. Do we HAVE to be outdoors?
    And i was JUST starting to love Ava and Remy, and then she left the show! that was a bummer!

  36. Profile photo of Cornfed

    To samxart, there are SEVERAL reasons why soaps are dying, but no ONE thing can be blamed. Y/R gained viewers last week year to year, and i think Days did too. It can be done. You can be current, but still honor the past. If they re-ignite any old characters, they really REALLY have to have a plan in place and know what they are doing, or it won’t work. Can’t they get just ONE writer on board from the old days — Nancy Curlee, Stephen DeMorest, Pam Long as consultant, or Lorraine Broderick, anyone??? I find the breakdown/dialogue writing to be atrocious, sorry. And rambling…it may sound realistic and day to day, but not riveting and doesn’t make me tune in.

  37. Profile photo of Cornfed

    I admire the courage of the entire 10 suggestions. It’s a shame that Rauch couldn’t re-ignite GL the way he has Y/R w/the help of Arena Bell. Rauch produced probably my 2nd fave soap of all time in its heyday, AW, under Harding Lemay’s writing, those were the days! But sometimes free reign isn’t the best. I had suggested many moons ago Long returning, that would be my #1 suggestion, she’s def. still young & vital enough to save this soap w/the right producer (NOT Wheeler for sure). People want drama, they don’t want scenes in a pseudo restaurant so quiet you can hear a pin drop. BORING!

    I painfully have to agree with everything RoseVioletDaisy says. I have NO interest in watching the St. Alban’s version of Michelle, she’s the equivalent of RC Cola to an actual Coke. Not good enough, not charismatic enough, bland, boring. Stewart was dynamic; i understood why he needed his own family on board, but…

    I have to assume that Maeve Kincaid is not interested in coming back full time to GL; if she were, i would walk over broken glass to see she and Reva go at it again. They’ve both matured as women w/softer edges somewhat, but i’m sure they could do it nonetheless. (and does Tesrau want to return full time either?)

    Watros would never return, but a GREAT idea. And you know when characters start to go crazy, the end is near. But a 3-6 month plot arc would be hot.

    I often wonder if Judi Evans wants to return to a good girl sort of role,i think she got bored w/goodie two shoes Beth, but i could be wrong. But make NO MISTAKE – Evans has had chemistry with EVERY LEADING MAN she’s ever had for 20 years, on several different soaps (GL,DAYS,AW). She can be obnoxious as an actress, but she’s never boring!!! I love the grace and beauty of Beth Chamberlain, but she can kinda be like watching paint dry.

    Last but not least, the outdoor locales wring any sort of drama out of each scene and plot. It rarely works. And GET A REAL MUSIC SUPERVISOR/producer LIKE MARTY DAVICH (ER, Days), and CAN the current one. Scenes need suffocating drama on occasion and grandscale drama on others. Watch Y/R if you need to see how it’s done.

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